Jill Duggar Reveals What Destroyed Relationship With Her Religious Dad

Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard have discovered newfound freedom since stepping back from their reality TV spotlight.

Previously seen on "19 Kids and Counting" as well as its sequel "Counting On", the couple now resides at the junction of Arkansas and Oklahoma. They joyfully raise three boys, with two of them enrolled in public schools. Duggar, embracing her individuality, now dons pants, sports a nose ring, and attends therapy sessions.

In their recent book titled "Counting the Cost", the duo delve into the challenges they faced during their tenure on the hit TLC series. At 32, Duggar expressed to Fox News Digital how refreshing it's been to share their story openly.

"It’s helped us process and disentangle our feelings," she said about her book that goes on sale Tuesday. "It’s been a cathartic process… This is not an isolated experience, just for reality TV or for large families… I hope people can relate to it and say, ‘I felt that too. I felt the isolation that breeds from control.’"

A representative for Duggar's parents, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, did not promptly return Fox News Digital's request for remarks. However, prior to the book's launch, they provided a statement to People magazine, stating: "As with any family, few things are more painful than conflicts or problems among those you love. … We do not believe the best way to resolve conflicts, facilitate forgiveness and reconciliation, or to communicate through difficulties is through the media or in a public forum so we will not comment."

The parents of Duggar are committed adherents of the Institute for Basic Life Principles (IBLP). The mission of IBLP is to offer individuals a "clear institution and training on how to find success by following God’s principles found in Scripture." IBLP’s website claims that "over 2.5 million people" have attended their seminars over the years.

The show "19 Kids & Counting," which depicted the expanding Duggar family's life, was broadcasted from 2008 to 2015. Its sequel, "Counting On," which centered around the elder children of the family, aired from 2015 to 2021.

"It was like ‘The Truman Show,’" Duggar recalled. "It was hard to live day to day and have a camera in my face. And for some of my siblings, it’s all they’ve ever known. As I got to know the film crew, they became like family, but there were moments that were robbed from me, the private ones. Like when I had my wisdom teeth out. It was a very vulnerable time for me as a teenager when I was put on display because they needed a moment, a dramatic moment. And anytime we were crying or emotionally distraught, the film crew was there because they knew it made great TV."

"If somebody busts their head open, it’s like, ‘This is great TV,’" she continued. "But at that moment, I just felt, ‘This is what I have to do. I have to honor my parents. I have to fall in line here.’ I didn’t really have a choice and I did not like it, but at the same time, I felt this is what I had to do to be a good daughter, to be a good Christian. I had to fulfill this role. But I wished I had more privacy. It’s still a struggle I face with."

Duggar expressed that with the increasing fame of the show, many of their intimate moments were suddenly thrust into the limelight. She was against filming the birth of her son, Israel, which led to disagreements with both her parents and the show's producers.

Dillard acknowledged that the strains they faced adversely impacted their marital relationship.

"There came a point where we just had to draw the line in the sand," he explained. "It wasn’t like somebody came to us as a couple and said, ‘Your parents have this agreement. Is this something you’re willing to do?’ There was never a conversation. And that difficulty was there early on, maybe even before we got married."

"I felt, ‘If Jill doesn’t want to do this, she doesn’t have to,’" Dillard shared. "I felt like I had that power to say no because I didn’t have any reason to think otherwise. The hardest thing for me was this presumption that everyone had a right to all these things. Whether it was our baby’s first pictures or announcements we wanted to make as a couple — that was robbed from us. It deeply affected our marriage to the point where I knew we had to put our foot down… I felt the ability to protect [Jill] and help her do what she felt called to was taken away from me… It definitely created tension."

Duggar's challenges under the public eye intensified. In 2015, an investigative police report revealing her brother Josh's molestation of Duggar and her sisters during their youth became public knowledge. While Duggar chose to omit the specifics of the incident from her book, she remembered conveying to her husband her profound distress, saying she felt "terrible… I wish I were dead."

Duggar described therapy as "a gift" in her journey towards embracing her new life. She emphasized that her unwavering faith in God persistently fortifies her marital bond.

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